Dietitians have started a project through the SEARHC Community Transformation Grant that addresses access and usage of traditional/local foods by elders. Our goal is to identify barriers to harvesting and eating traditional/local foods and possible solutions to those barriers. In addition, they will be conducting a survey for adults ages 60 and older in Haines/Klukwan and on POW Island. If you’d like to participate by taking the survey, go to the following SurveyMonkey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SEARHC_Elder_Survey OR schedule a time to be interviewed by calling 907-755-4959 or 907-617-7306. All participants will receive a $10 AC gift card once survey is completed!
Lisa Fenn, WIC Coordinator’s last day will be 1/4/13; they are actively recruiting an RD for the position. Renee Legan, RD, LD was contracted as the Interim WIC Coordinator until Lisa’s replacement is hired. She’ll be in the Juneau WIC Office the weeks of January 7th, January 21st, February 18th and March 18th. Hats off to Susan Hennon, Kari Natwick and Janai Meyer who are helping to plug holes with the WIC Coordinator’s departure. Cristina Gregory joined the Juneau WIC office as the Office Specialist II before Christmas. Coral Crenna was hired as the Sitka WIC Nutrition Educator. The halftime Juneau Assistant WIC Nutrition Educator is vacant and being recruited for and the full time Ketchikan Assistant WIC Nutrition Educator will be filled once the Coordinator position is filled.
The Traditional Foods Program had five members of the Wrangell Traditional Foods Advisory Team travel to Kake this week. Their goal was to meet with the Kake Advisory Team and strategize best ways to continue the traditional foods program efforts after the funding closes in September 2013. This type of meeting is written into the grant objectives because it is so important to get local advice on traditional foods efforts. The two teams created pages of ideas and action items. It was a wonderful time of connecting members of the two communities around discussions of local foods, gathering and recipes. The two teams also participated in honoring Kake Day, January 8th.
The Health Promotion program worked with the City of Kake and just about every organization in their community to organize a 2nd annual Kake Day Fair, which included a health/career fair, and arts & crafts tables. Health fair tables included SEARHC dental, diabetes prevention, and injury prevention. Clara Gray (SEARHC-Sitka) manned “Nolan the Super Colon,” which was a first for Kake, thanks to the coordination of Nancy Jo Bleier. Henrich Kadake, mayor of Kake, stated that he was happy with the turnout, and received many requests to make this an annual event. An evening program followed, which included presenting of colors, native dancing, dessert potluck, recognitions, grade school performances, and a social. Over 200 people attended both events.
If you haven't already done so, please check out SEARHC's new page on Facebook. This page will provide people with updates about what's happening around the consortium. This page is new, so it will be adding more content over time. If you're on Facebook, please like our page so you can keep up on the news at SEARHC.
SEARHC has three patient advocate positions in Southeast Alaska – Bryan Whitson (Sitka), Cyndi Reeves (POW), and Debra Graceland (Juneau) – who serve as customer service liaisons between patients and SEARHC, and help patients navigate their way through SEARHC's health system. In addition, the Alaska Native Medical Center provides Anchorage-based patient advocates who serve patients from around the state receiving care at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Patients living in Sitka, Angoon, Kake, Pelican, Tenakee Springs, Yakutat, Petersburg and Wrangell should contact Bryan Whitson at 966-8860. Patients in Klawock, Craig, Hydaburg, Kasaan, Thorne Bay and other POW communities should contact Cyndi Reeves at 755-4983 (965-0040, cell). Patients in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Klukwan and Hoonah should contact Debra Graceland (463-6656). Patients traveling to Anchorage for care should contact the ANMC patient advocates at 729-3990.
A personal or family crisis doesn't always happen during clinic hours, so the SEARHC Behavioral Health Division has contracted with a crisis call center to provide help for Southeast Alaska residents when they need it most. The SEARHC Help Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it will be staffed with a team of master's-degree-level mental health therapists who will listen and provide effective, compassionate care. This line provides confidential telephone counseling for people during a time of mental health crisis, and it is not just an answering service. The counselors will assess the situation and provide appropriate intervention using protocols developed with SEARHC Behavioral Health. Follow-up calls from SEARHC Behavioral Health or our partner agencies will be made the next business day. For more information, contact SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program Manager Wilbur Brown at 966-8753.
SEARHC has a 24/7 on-call travel coordinator to assist patients needing after-hours help while traveling for a medical appointment. The on-call staff person helps patients find new connections when a plane is diverted by weather, or assists with late-night housing. For assistance, call 1-800-916-8566 (toll-free in Alaska) or 1-907-966-8345 in Sitka, and then follow the prompts. To help us better help you, please call as soon as you know your travel schedule has been changed. For patients needing assistance from the Community Resources Program (contract health), such as emergency health care while traveling, call 1-866-966-8316 (toll-free).